A Few Thoughts on Product Hunt’s New Ship Platform

I won’t lie… ProductHunt’s new SHIP platform looks dope af.

I’ve been eyeing it for quite some time and their launch intersects perfectly with two distinct projects that I’m working on. Last night, I finally had a moment to put it together:

Yoooo. It looks good yoooo.

You can check it out in-the-real here at TryGeorge.com. That magic temporary 302 htaccess redirect though…

I don’t have time for a comprehensive review of Product Hunt’s Ship Platform but I will share a few things off the top of my head…

So… What About the Time Commitment?

I was initially anxious about the time commitment and effort to put together my landing page.

Since I’m incredibly busy building the damn thing, I didn’t want to spend any more time than necessary and required for this type of thing. After getting over my initial anxiety I was able to sit down last night and bang it out in about 30 minutes (maybe less).

Thank you Jesus for simple tools.

Simple. Useful. Effective.

Well, I might as well show you the full “Upcoming Page” panel so you get a real taste of how simple it was:

Some scrolling action… but not bad at all.

I haven’t dived into really any of the other features so far so I’m not even close to an expert, but, what’s great is that I get the sense that you don’t have to be an expert to actually use the thing really well.

And that’s a super-positive thing.

And… So… What About The Cost?

I’m an indie app developer like many of the creators on Product Hunt (although many more institutions and enterprise organizations are using PH these days…) and costs are at the very forefront of our mind, every single day.

Every penny that we spend in marketing is one less penny that goes to the real stuff that matters, like rent, food, and clothing for myself and my kids (I’ve got two and one is hitting puberty soon… which means a ton of eating). I’m not being melodramatic or hyperbolic; let me explain…

You see, like many and most indie projects, George isn’t propped up by venture capital or by a personal “rainy day” fund for kicks. It’s built upon the framework and foundation of love and a desire to build stuff that matters. It’s built because I am trying to scratch my own itch, first, and then (courageously) give it to the rest of the world.

And, pragmatically-speaking, time spent building the app and any marketing collateral means time spent away from working on paying gigs, contracts, and for full-time employer(s). The struggle is real, yo.

That 💰.

Consequently, when I look at the price for Product Hunt’s SHIP pricing page I, at first, audibly gasped (or, at least I think I did). What in the holy hell is this?!

But, I slept on it and after having a very decent cup of coffee from Philz on 24th and Folsom, I came back home and realized that the value that Product Hunt has created is well-worth the (ouch…!) monthly burn.

Okay… So, What Value?

Glad you asked.

So, the first thing is that the landing page and technology isn’t distinctly unique or special and as a software engineer I can honestly create this type of landing page in a few hours if given the time. Hell, I’ve done this so many times before…

But I didn’t want to spend a few hours designing a landing page… I wanted to first maximize my time on software and product development. Time equals money, for real.

But perhaps more importantly is the fact that Product Hunt has a built-in maker network and community that is near-priceless for a small-time indie app developer.

In the past, this was something that you had to earn over a long period of time and it is hard… like, really hard. It’s something that, historically, money couldn’t buy.

Yup. I did it.

But now, Product Hunt has figured out an obvious and easy way to sell their community to folks who need it. This may sound more negative than I intend it to sound, but, I obviously decided to participate in this copacetic and mutually-beneficial relationship.

The brass tacks is this: Product Hunt has an amazing community and network who loves trying out new apps and products. It needs creators (like you and me) to build them. It’s a relationship that needs both parties and both parties win when executed well.

If I can deliver a kickass product to a community that wants it then I’ll make back my investment in spades. The paper-napkin math checks out.

Okay, So, What You’re Saying Is…

So, what I’m saying is that I feel like the time invested in putting together my temporary landing page via SHIP feels like I’m way into the net-positive region, at least psychologically at this point.

The speed of execution (which is very, very important…), the relatively-low cost over value equation, and the elegance (I really do like the look, tbh…) makes this feel like a win-win-win.

It’s not for everyone and I deeply empathize with the cost figure(s), but, after having built and launched a handful of independent projects in the past (one of which has won Best Apps of the Year from Apple… twice!) Product Hunt’s SHIP platform has made this particular part of the launch process so much easier.

In fact… if I’m to be completely transparent here… and this is somewhat embarrassing… but, I spent more time penning this blog post than actually putting together the George’s Landing Page… FML.

I guess that’s the way it goes.

A Quick Update…

So, the last day has been very exciting as more and more folks are signing up to receive notifications! The early results have been so positive that I decided to spend a little bit of time last night launching a second project on the platform:

Cool Widget Action!

This one is called Crypto Yum and I’m using Ship’s very effective widget on a few pages.

As you can see here, if folks click it then expands:

More legit-ness!

Would love for you to check it out as well! Long-live Crypto Yum!

And if you want a larger overview of my thoughts, I’ve written a follow-up post here:

CryptoYum on Product Hunt Ship!